7616.99.90 – Aluminum articles not elsewhere classified
7326.90.30 - Other articles of iron or steel, Other, Ladders and steps
Discussion paper: Multipurpose ladders – Transitioning to a new safety standard 14 pages in English (14 page(s), in English) to be provided separately.
Australian Standard: AS 1892.1:2018
A multipurpose ladder is a portable ladder with joints which allow it to be folded and rearranged to function as a single- or double-sided ladder, or other configurations. Since November 2012, the sale, supply or importation of multipurpose ladders which do not comply with official standards has been prohibited due to injuries attributable to structural and stability failures.
Multipurpose ladders are currently regulated under the 'Unsafe Goods Notice (Multipurpose Ladders) 2021' (the Notice), enabling the sale, support and importation of ladders in compliance with Australian Standard, AS 1892.1:2018 Portable ladders, Part 1: Performance and geometric requirements (the 2018 Standard), or Australian and New Zealand Standard, AS/NZS 1892.1:1996 (the 1996 Standard). The Notice was intended as a transitional notice allowing for industry to sell old stock that was tested against the 1996 Standard and is due to expire on 5 April 2023.
The proposed measure will replace the existing Notice by establishing new regulations under section 29 of the Fair-Trading Act to require all multipurpose ladders to comply with the existing 2018 Standard. The existing 2018 Standard will supersede the 1996 Standard with the aim of providing a greater level of protection to users of multipurpose ladders. Key differences between the existing 2018 and 1996 standard include:
1.1 test report requirements to standardise the type of documentation required to substantiate compliance with the regulations.
1.2 labelling requirements which are clearer and significantly more prescriptive, including new warnings about misuse and electrical hazards, and requirements for larger fonts and higher contrast;
1.3 the 'higher stability' categorisation uses stability test procedures involving higher forces than the standard stability requirements;
1.4 work platform and step stool requirements.
Almost all multipurpose ladders on the New Zealand market already comply with the existing 2018 standard. Those that do not are expected to comply by April 2023.
This proposal would require multipurpose ladders sold in future to comply with AS 1892.1:2018. An alternative would be to continue allowing both the Previous Standard and the Current Standard.